Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ring in the New Year!

I can’t think of anyone who isn’t glad to see 2008 make its way to the graveyard of years past. That last quarter woke everyone up. 2008 was bittersweet in several ways on a personal level for me. Although I went through the worst time of my entire cancer journey mid year, things ended on a very high note for my health and my future. All in all, it was a good year, despite all the jagged edges.

These days, one can’t help but feel a sense of dread, which bleeds into our lives and our psyches, as the news reports on stories that are heartbreaking and fear-based. Sometimes it’s better to turn off the news and turn on our favorite music, watch a funny movie, or take a long walk. Like the Holidays, global crises, and cancer, it is our nature to respond by coming together and finding comfort in the hope that everything will be ok.

I observed a profound sense of loss, laced with hope, this Holiday season:
One friend lost her son to a medical mistake; another friend faces a second stem cell transplant because the first one didn't work; another was reminded of the loss of her 20 year old son 2 years ago; another local friend tries to put a positive spin on his father's recent cancer diagnosis, while yet another long distance friend does the exact same thing; another friend's 25+ year marriage is being tested; my cousin had a massive heart attack at the age of 48, which shook him in ways that other close calls haven't.
Yet the human spirit, and in most cases, faith in a Higher Power, continues to give these people courage they didn't think they had. As a people, I think that we are reawakened to the courage in all of us to heal. As we heal as individuals, we heal as nations, as a planet and as residents of the Universe. It is no secret (with all due respect to the readers of "The Secret") that we are connected.

Our understanding of this, on whatever level we know it, explains why people continue to build for the future, even when things look bleak. I know several friends who are getting married, two of whom became engaged this Christmas; a relative was just promoted and given her own studio to create her pastry masterpieces; a friend is about to give birth, after chemotherapy treatments, to a miracle baby; and I know about a dozen young men and women who are finding their way into their adult worlds without anger or resentment toward the generation ahead of them who kind of botched things up -- well, those few at the top anyway. These things are an indication of an optimistic vision and they give me comfort.

Yes, everything will be more than ok. Happy New Year everyone. Bring it on!